tv CBS Morning News CBS August 4, 2010 3:30am-4:00am PST
in for the kill. the first phase of bp's plan to plug its damaged oil well is over. massacre in manchester. a connecticut worker said to be cold as ice kills eight coworkers in a shooting rampage. and same-sex marriage. the first federal ruling is expected today. this is the "cbs morning news" for wednesday, august 4, this is the "cbs morning news" for wednesday, august 4, 2010. captioning funded by cbs good morning, everybody, and thanks for joining us. i'm betty nguyen. so far so good. bp says its operation to permanently plug the oil leak is going well. bp says it has pumped mud into the damaged well for eight hours. the so-called static kill and the well does remain stable.
meanwhile, it's reported the government will announce today that the spilled oil isn't the threat that it once was. tara mergener is in washington with the latest on this. do explain about this threat and how it's not once what it once was. >> reporter: good morning, betty. we have good news on two fronts. one, bp says it has reached a significant milestone and they are no longer pumping mud into this well to see if it holds up. also, a new study reveals promising information about the state of the gulf. the government is expected to announce today that the vast majority of oil spilled into the gulf is gone. according to "the new york times," federal officials will report that three-quarters of the crude is already evaporated, dispersed or been captured and the rest of it doesn't pose much harm. the news comes just a day after bp began pumping heavy mud into the ruptured well in hopes of sealing it for good. on board the ship where crews
were carrying out static kill, a bp official sounded optimistic. >> all i can say is so far it's looking good. >> reporter: the operation will likely continue through thursday, but crews may not know for another week or so whether it worked. bp has said it may no longer need relief wells if the static kill is successful, but the government's man in charge of the disaster made it clear tuesday, those wells will be completed. >> there should be no ambiguity about that. i'm the national incident commander and that's the way this will end, it will end with the relief wells being drilled. >> reporter: but an end to the well doesn't mean an end to the clean-up. >> yesterday we had tar balls in significant quantities washing ashore in grand isle. >> reporter: while today's government report is expected to show much of the oil has disappeared, gulf coast residents fear what's left may wash ashore for months to come. and as for the static kill, bp will continue to monitor the well to determine the next course of action. betty? >> tara mergener joining us live in washington. thank you for that.
now to the deadly workplace shooting. witnesses say the alleged gunman, 34-year-old omar thornton was, quote, cold as ice as he started shooting coworkers on tuesday. nine people, including the gunman, were killed at a beer distributor's warehouse in manchester, connecticut. the rampage was over in a matter of minutes. manuel gallegus reports. >> reporter: employees of this beer distribution plant were loading trucks for the day's deliveries when authorities say one of their coworkers started shooting. police and tand the s.w.a.t. tem raced to the scene. nine were killed, including omar thornton, who took his own life. >> third shift leave, first shift coming on, all the sales mernmen going out on their various routes. yeah, couldn't are been a worse possible time. >> reporter: thornton, a truck driver at the company was called into a meeting where he was told he was losing his job for stealing beer. as he was being escorted out, police say he pulled out a handgun and started shooting. his relatives claim he suffered racial discrimination at work.
>> he's tooken pictures of everything that was written on walls, where they were drawing pictures of black men being hung with ropes and all kinds of stuff. and he had filed complaints with his company. >> reporter: according to his uncle, thornton called his mother from the scene. >> he said, i killed the five racists that was there that was bothering me. and you know, and he said, that's it. you know, the cops are going to come in. so, i'm going to take care of myself. >> reporter: a union official strongly denies that thornton was the target of racism at work and says he never filed any complaints. mark worked with omar thornton. he wasn't at the plant during the shooting but his son, also an employee, was and escaped. >> when i heard his voice, what a relief, you know. just to know he was okay. >> reporter: family members who had loved ones killed were taken to a local high school. the mother of one victim says she saw her son and kissed him good-bye, not knowing it would be for the last time. manuel gallegus, cbs news, manchester, connecticut.
the first federal judicial ruling on same-sex marriage is expected today. the ruling concerns california's proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage. voters approved prop 8 five months after the state supreme court legalized same-sex marriage. one legal expert says he has no doubt prop 8 will be thrown out. >> i would be very surprised, based upon what i saw of the trial and based upon what i saw of the interaction of judge walker, particularly in the closing arguments of the lawyers, if judge walker did not say that it's a violation of the 14th amendment equal protection to not allow gay people to marry. >> regardless of the ruling, the decision will be appealed, possibly as high as the supreme court. a new york city buildings commission has cleared the way for an islamic community center and mosque to be not two blocks from ground zero. the commission voted tuesday to allow an existing building to be torn down to make way for the center. opponents say the mosque
disrespects the victims of 9/11. one group says it plans to challenge the decision in court today. in china, there's been another deadly attack against young school children. on tuesday afternoon in eastern china, a man with a knife entered a kindergarten just as students were being dismissed. he went on a slashing rampage, killing three young students and one teacher before fleeing. about 20 students were wounded. back in may seven children were killed in another knife attack. hip-hop star wyclef jean is running for president. of haiti. jean is expected to officially announce his candidacy thursday. jean was born in haiti. he'll be one of many candidates, including his uncle, haiti's ambassador to washington. haiti is struggling to rebuild following january's massive earthquake. the haitians go to the poll november 28th. today is president obama's 49th birthday. the president is celebrating with friends in chicago and spending the night at his hyde park home.
this isn't just a pleasure trip. the president will also attend democratic fund-raisers and visit an auto plant. on the "cbs moneywatch," stocks in asia slid this morning. ashley morrison is here in new york with the latest on that. good morning, ashley. >> good morning to you. well, asian markets were dragged down by disappointing earnings reports. japan's nikkei lost more than 2% while hong kong's hang seng saw a late day rally. today wall street gets the latest on the private sector payrolls. tuesday stocks fell after a new round of lackluster economic news. the dow lost 38 points while the nasdaq gave back almost 12. retail sales dropped in july while shoppers held onto their wallets a little tighter, especially high-end items. sales of pricey jewelry fell more than 13% compared to a year ago. sales of clothing, footwear and furniture all fell. there was one bright spot, however. online sales gained for the 12th straight month. americans are slowly returning to car dealerships. general motors, ford and
chrysler all reported improved sales in july. big summer promotions and easier credit made it one of the best months for auto sales since last year's cash for clunkers program. the smartphone market got a little more crowded. tuesday research in motion unveiled the much-hyped blackberry torch 9800. the new touchscreen device has a pull-out keyboard and an updated operating system and designed to go head to head with the iphone and android smartphones. the torch hits store shelves on august 12th at about $200 for customers who buy a two-year service agreement. barnes & noble is considering putting itself up for sale. the book retailer is facing a potential fight with shareholders who are unhappy about the stock price and corporate strategies. barnes & noble is struggling as shoppers shift more towards e-books instead of paper books. the company has a market value of around $700 million. and if you're feeling a
little lonely, the website rent-a-friend offers a database of more than 200,000 potential companions. it is not a dating service or escort service but if you need someone to go to a wedding with or company that afternoon, you can rent someone for average of $10 to $40. access to their database costs about $40 a month. that might be kind of nice for somebody that's elderly, widowed, alone or with no family around. >> or someone that's just lonely, doesn't have any friends. here's what's cool about that, i also read you can negotiate that price. it's $10 to $40, but if you don't have that much cash, i give you $5, want to go to the movies with me? >> are you paying for the movie and popcorn? >> i don't know about that. you'll have to negotiate that as well. >> we'll talk about it. >> ashley, thank you for that. just ahead on the morning news, a deadly heat wave grips the south. plus, a short-lived reunion. bristol palin and levi johnston split up, yep, again.
first, though, katie couric has a preview of tonight's "cbs evening news." a rare inside look at the world of white supremacists with the undercover team whose mission is to stop violent racist gangs reeking havoc across the country. our exclusive investigation tomorrow night only on the "cbs evening news." ht only on the "cbs evening news." it was a mystery to me. i found out that connected to our muscles are nerves that send messages through the body. my doctor diagnosed it as fibromyalgia, thought to be the result of overactive nerves that cause chronic, widespread pain. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. i learned lyrica can provide significant relief from fibromyalgia pain. and with less pain, i can do more of what matters to me. [ female announcer ] lyrica is not for everyone. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior or any swelling or affected breathing, or skin, or changes in eyesight, including blurry vision or muscle pain with fever or tired feeling. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness,
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>> there was a 911 called. and i tried cpr. and i wasn't successful. and the paramedics came. >> people are trying all sorts of ways to cool off. and cooling centers have been opened in many cities. a georgia woman used her feet to get help after a man attacked her at home. the atlanta woman used her toes to type on her computer tuesday while her hands were tied to her bed. the suspect assaulted and robbed her. after four hours she was somehow able to send a help message to her boyfriend. >> started im'ing him and telling him that i was tied to the bed, had been robbed and asked him to call 911. >> the thief stole her cell phone, ipod and camera. but she convinced him to leave her laptop by telling him it contained a tracking device. she said she is just grateful to be alive. that's quite a story. well, then there's this. bristol palin and levi johnston are splitting up, again.
the 19-year-old daughter of former alaska governor sarah palin has a son with johnston. they announced their second engagement, july 14, the very day he told her he might have fathered a child with another woman. bristol palin tells "people" magazine that the final straw is when johnston filmed a music video mocking her family. in other news, the queen of soul is recuperating this morning. aretha franklin broke some ribs and has abdominal pain after a fall on sunday. her injury will force her to miss some free concerts this month in new york. franklin says she will reschedule those performances. just last week she performed at a benefit concert with condoleezza rice in washington. straight ahead, your morning weather. in sports, a change at the top in one baseball pennant race. eball pennant race. if you fight to sleep in the middle of the night, why go one more round ? you don't need a rematch, but a rethink. with lunesta. lunesta is thought to interact with gaba receptors
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v8. what's your number? here's a look at the weather in some cities around the country. new york, partly cloudy, 86. miami, thunderstorms, 89. chicago, thunderstorms as well, 87. cloudy in denver with 85 degrees there. and 84 in l.a. time for a check of the national forecast. the latest satellite picture shows a large area of clouds moving through the northern plains as skies clear over the southwest. later today more oppressive heat lingers over the southern plains. northeast, humidity is on the rise. it's quiet on the west coast. in parts of the northern plains
it will be another day of severe weather. in sports, tampa bay is now in first place in the american league east. b.j. upton of the rays smashed a home run in the seventh inning against minnesota. the 6-4 win gives tampa bay a half game lead over the yankees. in boston, mike lowell of the red sox homered on the first pitch he saw after coming off the disabled list. boston and cleveland had a bench-clearing brawl in the eighth inning. and the red sox got the 3-1 victory. and jeff francoeur of the mets blasted a go ahead home run in the ninth inning against atlanta. the 3-2 loss cuts the braves' lead in the national league east to two games over philadelphia. and nfl quarterback brett favre says he will retire again. favre says his injured left ankle is still bothering him and he will not return for a 20th season, but he's changed his mind in the past. and the vikings are still hoping
and i'm juliette goodrich in for sydnie kohara this morning. this afternoon... a federal judge in san francisco will hand down his ruling to uphold or overturn the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. coming up at five: what one legal expert believes will happen... and why. giants outfielder nate schierholtz reacts to the trouble his brother his in following a series of hit and run collisions in danville. 23- year- old cainan schierholtz is still in jail after injuring four people while driving drunk.
it got what it wanted. the work to permanately plug the busted oil well in the gulf of mexico seems to be working. and the tracks are all clear for commuters in emeryville following a freight train derailment. join us for cbs 5 eyewitness on the "cbs morning news," here's a look at today's weather. much of the southern plains will see triple digit heat, making the air feel unpleasant. the west coast will continue looking wonderful. while the northern plains get more severe weather. here's another look at this morning's top stories. bp says the first phase of its operation to permanently plug its damaged oil well is complete. after pumping mud into the well head for eight hours, the well is stable. and the first federal ruling on same-sex marriage is expected today. the case involves california's proposition 8 which outlaws
same-sex marriage. a lot of people toy with the idea of giving up their day jobs in order to travel around the world, but most never have the courage to do it. except for one family. who took to the high seas for an extraordinary adventure. seth doane reports. >> reporter: it was the definition of an adventure. no timeline, no destination, just the journey. before all this, tom crafton was a family psychologist. kathy was a nurse. but something was missing. >> economically we were in great shape. >> but it didn't mean anything. >> reporter: so, in 2001 they sold their home in alaska and everything they owned to take their three kids to live on this 43-foot sailboat with a spanish name that means new life. so began their seven-year, 30,000 mile odyssey. setting sail from maryland, they headed south to see the mayan ruins of mexico, before passing
through the panama canal and on to new zealand, where they spent a year and a half. then in papua new guinea there were rural tribes to meet. in south africa, a mountain to climb. in all, they visited 23 countries before returning home to the u.s. kalena was just 11 when they set out. >> you know, i don't really know what's happening with britney spears and the latest gossip and all these things. and really, i could care less. >> reporter: after all, surviving five hurricanes was much more exciting, so was learning to barter for food. >> it's a beautiful day here. >> reporter: when they ran out of money and realized their kids needed normalcy, they came back to maryland in june. >> when you peel everything away, what else do we really have but relationships? and time with our loved ones and giving and caring and sometimes i think that gets lost, you know. >> reporter: though they're back, they're living on the boat because even in port, it's still their escape.
seth doane, cbs news, severna park, maryland. and you can hear more from this family today on "the early ow." i'm betty nguyen. "the early show." i'm betty nguyen. you' i'm fred lemond, and i'm in charge of bp's efforts to remove oil from these waters. bp has taken full responsibility for the cleanup and that includes keeping you informed. every morning, over 50 spotter planes and helicopters take off and search for the oil. we use satellite images, infrared and thermal photography to map and target the oil. then, the boats go to work. almost 6,000 vessels. these are thousands of local shrimp and fishing boats organized into task forces and strike teams. plus, specialized skimmers from around the world. we've skimmed over 27 million gallons of oil/water mixture and removed millions more with other methods. we've set out more than 8 million feet of boom to protect the shoreline. i grew up on the gulf coast and i love these waters. we can't keep all the oil from coming ashore,
but i'm gonna do everything i can to stop it, and we'll be here as long as it takes to clean up the gulf. travel advisories to small business loans. retirement savings to medicare coverage. id theft protection to contacting elected officials. student loans to taxes on-line. whether you have information to get or ideas to give, usa.gov is the official place to connect with your government. from surplus car auctions to finding a new job, our new mobile apps will keep you updated on the go. so from marriage records to passport applications, veteran's benefits to birth certificates, patent applications to energy saving ideas, product recalls to home buying tips, check out usa.gov.
because the country runs better when we stay connected. voters in missouri have dealt a blow to health care reform. on tuesday, they overwhelmingly approved proposition c, that blocks the government from requiring everyone to have health insurance. the measure is mostly symbolic. the vote is seen as a referendum on the recently passed health care bill. meantime, the obama administration is facing criticism over stimulus money aimed at creating new jobs. a report by two republican senators released on tuesday highlighted some dubious ways the money has been spent. sharyl attkisson reports. >> reporter: it may be called the recovery act. >> my grandmother owned this house when i was a child. >> reporter: but to pastor greg sheets, it's the law of unintended consequences. >> there used to be a bank that protected us.
>> reporter: a well-meaning stimulus project to improve the road in front of his newark, ohio, home, has led the city to take part of his yard through eminent domain, the neighbor's, too. he got a restraining order when the workers got too close to his house. the mess is now in the fourth month. >> there's not much left to keep in the family. >> reporter: in washington state another stimulus project may be hurting those designed to help. construction began a year ago in front of the archery bistro restaurant. the owner says it shut off business like a fly in a bowl of soup. he's had to stop sevening lunch, close two days a week and, ironically, lay off 12 workers. >> thank you. >> reporter: a new report from republican senators tom coburn and john mccain says too much of the $862 billion in stimulus money is being spent with dubious results. $700,000 for this researcher to study improvised music. more for a project on interactive dance where 44% of
the money goes to overhead. there's $1.9 million to photograph ants in foreign countries. two jobs created so far. that's better than other ant research stimulus projects. one job, 0.006 of a salary. no jobs. 0.04 of a job was created to study monkey behavior on cocaine to see why monkeys respond to unfairness, no jobs yet except for maybe the monkeys. still, obama administration economists say all the projects have valid goals and the recovery act has put 3 million people back to work. >> if you look at the impact of the recovery act, including many of the projects they're critiquing, these are projects creating jobs today, getting americans back to work. >> reporter: as far as those who have been hurt, city officials everywhere say far more lives will be helped, if not pastor sheets. >> i think sometimes decisions are made far away, whether it be washington, d.c., and they don't
understand how it impacts people in everyday america. >> reporter: he's resigned to giving up the home that's been in his family for three generations. but wonders who would buy it now. sharyl attkisson, cbs news, washington. and that's the "cbs morning news" for this wednesday. thanks for watching. hope you'll join us a little later for "the early show." i'm betty nguyen. have a great day. ,,,,